It’s autumn (hoetla), a new school year is underway, and lots is going on in Lesotho! I’m in a good mood thanks to peaches and perfect weather. Here’s an update on what’s been happening in my village lately:
March 11 commemorates Moshoeshoe, the founder of the Basotho nation. Every year, primary schools around the country hold sports days to celebrate. This means I got to wake up at 4 am, hike a treacherous mountain path for 3 hours, cheer on my learners as they ran races, then hike back. Woo! Some of my students did well enough that they’ll be moving on to the district level competitions soon. The ultimate goal is to represent Lesotho in an international race – we’ll see!
Last year, my principal applied for book donations through an organization called African Library Project. We received 19 (!) huge boxes of books, and we just recently got around to sorting them. It was a fun day of going through books, and my coworkers got the biggest kick out of the sheer volume of dinosaur stories. We now have classroom libraries in every grade, and one school in Lesotho is baffled by the United States’s obsession with dinos. Success all around.
In Grade 7, we’ve been learning about rights! My co-teacher and I delivered a few lessons going over the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as well as laws in Lesotho that protect against violence. Next week, the police are visiting our school to answer student questions, which we’re really looking forward to. Teaching has been a lot more relaxing and fun this year, now that I have a year down and I know my co-teachers better.
I’ve been eating around 3 peaches a day. They are huge this year from the rainfall we’ve been getting. On Fridays we hand out peaches to the learners, which is always an exciting event. Everyone in my village has been busy canning and/or drying peaches so they’ll last for months.
For most of February and March, I’ve stayed put at site. It’s been nice, and I’ve been feeling involved in community goings-on. I also get a little stir-crazy after so long in a tiny village, so I’m looking forward to an exciting April and May. In those months, I’ll be helping to run 2 Peace Corps trainings, taking a road trip through South Africa and Lesotho with my girlfriend, going to a music festival in Swaziland, and renting a house on an island in Mozambique with some friends!